The recent Oregon shooting and other places weigh us down with grief and anxiety. The constant bad news is stressful—terrorism, ISIS, Ebola, nuclear threats, natural disasters, economical downturns. Not to mention the show “Doomsday Preppers”—which makes me feel anxious, too. I often think, Surely, the end times must be near! And I wonder if we are prepared for Doomsday.
Doomsday Preppers Gone Wild
On September 11th, I was unprepared and uninformed, so I began listening to Fox News to keep watch over world events. It was my own type of Doomsday prepping, though it hasn’t helped much. We all fear something different: My neighbor recently installed massive generators because he fears a power grid failure; a man down the street has a fortified basement with water and dried food. But many Doomsday preppers take it much further even than that.
Thanks to our constant feed of bad news, Doomsday prepping has become a big business. While the Doomsday prepping community is usually anti-consumer in theory, it is not so much in practice. The Doomsday prepping business is booming (no pun intended): Conventions and prepping expos across the nation sell earthworm farms, gas masks and AK-47s at every show.
Maybe it’s because most of us feel like we are living in or near the end times.
We say, “Things can’t get much worse!”
“It can’t go on this way much longer, can it?”
“Aren’t we closer to the Apocalypse than ever before?”
The answer? Probably.
But you know what I’ve noticed? The threat list keeps changing. In the last century, nuclear war was the greatest threat–and it is still a great threat. But new threats have been added to the list: biological warfare, terrorism and even asteroids. The way I see it, if disaster strikes, one of three things will happen:
1. I will be killed in a disaster because I was unprepared.
2. I was prepared, but died anyway because I couldn’t get to my bunker, or I prepared for the wrong disaster.
3. I prepared and survived only to live on Ramen noodles and ten-year-old bottled water until I run out. Then I die.
All three options lead to my own fate. Interesting.
Different Better Way To Prep
Maybe instead of seed banks and night vision goggles, we should prepare for Doomsday differently. Sixty-seven years ago, C.S. Lewis offered this helpful advice:
“It is perfectly ridiculous to go about whimpering and drawing long faces because the scientists have added one more chance of painful and premature death to a world…in which death itself was not a chance at all, but a certainty…If we are all going to be destroyed by an atomic bomb, let that bomb find us doing sensible and human things—praying, working, teaching, reading, listening to music, bathing the children, playing tennis, chatting to our friends over a pint and a game of darts—not huddled like frightened sheep and thinking about bombs. They may break our bodies [a microbe can do that] but they need not dominate our minds.”
Here’s the bad news. We all will die at some point, and most of us will not get to choose the terms. But our natural fear of coming disaster and death can be used for good.
So, here’s what I’ve come to in the middle of my end-of-the-world fears and Doomsday prepping. The single best way to prep for Doomsday is to set my heart on drawing nearer to God. Maybe all these disasters are meant to send us running to Him. A close relationship with God is free and simple to do, and yet it’s really our only hope for survival. It probably makes better sense than building a bomb shelter in your basement and outfitting the family in gas masks.
We can never be too close to God—there is always room to draw nearer, and in light of all these disasters as the countdown to Doomsday, nearer is good. It’s truly the only way to be prepared for Doomsday.
So—are you prepared?